India

War In Ukraine Is Windfall For Wheat Farmers Of Madhya Pradesh

War in ukraine is windfall for wheat farmers of madhya pradesh

Farmers are now getting up to Rs 2400- 2,500 a quintal of wheat in mandis, as against the Rs 2,015 MSP.

Bhopal:

The demand for wheat grown in Madhya Pradesh has shot up in the international market amid short supply from Russia and Ukraine due to the ongoing war. The farmers are pleased. They are getting paid as much as 25 per cent more than the Minimum Support Price or MSP.

Farmers are now getting up to Rs 2400- 2,500 a quintal of wheat in mandis, as against the Rs 2,015 MSP.

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One of them, Jagdish Meena, came to Bhopal’s Karond Mandi from Mubarakpur with three trolleys of wheat and received Rs 105 per quintal above MSP — paid immediately after the auction.

“I am happy, getting cash here. Weigh it, show the receipt and you are done. Last year, we faced some issues because of RTGS,” he told NDTV.

Other farmers like Narmada Prasad Ahirwar have received more. Mr Ahirwar received Rs 2,213 per quintal against 2,015 of the MSP, for the one trolley of wheat he brought.

Bhagwan Singh also benefited, but not as much, having sold his produce nearly a month ago. He received Rs 1,900 a quintal.

“I’ll save Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 on this trolley, but have sold around 500 quintals earlier, so lost around Rs 1 lakh,” he said.

Farmers like Radho Singh Meena, who came from Mahuakheda, are happy to get a good price in the auction, But Mr Meena is worried about the produce he sold at the society last month.

“I sold around 300 sacks on May 7 in Vidisha, but yet to receive the payment… I am worried. The lenders are asking for money,” he said.

Traders say they are witnessing a nearly three-fold rise in arrivals. What makes them particularly happy is that the state government has scaled down licence fees from Rs 20,000 to Rs 1,000 and the security deposit of Rs 3 lakh has been waived.

Harish Gyanchandani, the president of Bhopal Anaj Mandi, said: “There is a bumper inflow. Farmers are happy…  the government has given exemption from agriculture tax”.

Most of the wheat is being bought for export because of the shortage, with Russia and Ukraine — both major wheat exporters – hampered because of the war.

The wheat exported from the state — almost 5 lakh tonnes – is almost three times the last year.

In the last financial year, around 1.76 lakh metric tonne of wheat was exported, which fetched Rs 420 crore.  In 2020 – 0.87 lakh metric tonnes of wheat worth Rs 175 crore was exported.

Now the government has set a target of 20 lakh metric tonnes. It says it has enough — 150 lakh tonnes — in stock against a requirement of 30 lakh. (Yes for the state including buffer stock etc).

Consequently, this year it is likely to procure only about 40 to 45 lakh metric tonnes — down by two-thirds at least. (Procuring less as the farmers are selling in open market because they ate getting good price).

Chief Minister Shivarj Singh Chouhan said, “At present, the wheat of Madhya Pradesh is making a splash all over the world — under the name of MP Wheat in Canada, USA and England”.

The government procurement, he said, is decreasing this year. “That doesn’t mean we don’t want to buy. This means that you get a good price. The farmer gets more profit as the wheat is being exported,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh is exporting wheat to countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam, Egypt, Philippines, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique.

But there is concern on whether the state is exporting too much. The current heat wave is expected to reduce production and there are questions whether the buffer stocks will be enough.

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